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News / May 16, 2019

Childrens’ dental problems spell trouble for later life

by Siobhan Hiscott

Children who experience caries or periodontal disease could be at greater risk of poor heart health later in life, it has been revealed.

A long-term study published last month (April) found that oral health problems may be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease as adults.

The Finnish study, which followed patients from childhood into their late 30s, found that the more signs of dental disease the participants showed as children, the more likely they were to have higher measurements of plaque build up along their artery walls as adults.

‘The results show for the first time, to our knowledge, that childhood oral infections may be a modifiable risk factor for adult cardiovascular disease,’ wrote the group led by Pirkko Pussinen PhD, director of the doctoral programme in oral sciences at the University of Helsinki.

The study was published in JAMA Network Open.